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National Latino Children's Institute

Since its founding in 1997, the National Latino Children's Institute (NLCI) has been creating targeted strategies, programs and initiatives to support Latino communities nationwide. It is the only national organization that concentrates exclusively on young Latinos, from birth through 18 years. NLCI works with a diverse network of over 200 regional and local community-based organizations in developing and implementing its community programs.

Its health initiative, Salsa, Sabor y Salud, was developed to improve awareness of habits leading to better nutrition and increased physical activity for Latino families with children 12 and younger. Families participate actively in a series of eight sessions that reinforce the importance of achieving "energy balance" through healthier food choices and increased levels of physical activity. The program's unique approach builds on Latino family values, experiences, traditions, language and cultural strengths. Since its inception, the empirically tested program has been implemented in 100 community-based organizations in 20 cities in 17 states and Puerto Rico. NLCI has reached more than 32,000 Latinos and has trained 400 facilitators and ten master trainers to build community capacity and reach. The program currently has a 99% participant overall program satisfaction rating.

The program was developed for community-based organizations, schools, clinics, wellness programs, and other agencies and organizations working with Latino families. It is flexible, allowing a variety of programs to create their own implementation strategies.

Salsa, Sabor y Salud received the 2007 American Dietetic Association/American Dietetic Association Foundation Presidents' Circle Award for Best Nutrition Education.

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